Winged Creaturesfor harpsichord, 2 violins and cello (2006)
|Premiere||June 25, 2006 Osaka, Japan, Ishihara Hall; Haldan Martinson, violin; Christina Day Martinson, violin; Mickey Katz, cello; Takae Ohnishi, harpsichord|
|Instrumentation||harpsichord, 2 violins and cello|
Winged Creatures – a Cadenza for Harpsichord was composed as an encore piece for a recital given by my wife Takae Ohnishi. It incorporates improvisation by the harpsichordist in the cadenza section. Images of avian creatures are behind the imagination of the work as well as the improvisation. Its first performance was given by Haldan Martinson (violin), Christina Day Martinson (violin), Mickey Katz (cello) and Takae Ohnishi (harpsichord) on June 25, 2006 in Ishihara Hall, Osaka, Japan.
I have long been fascinated by “the sound of calligraphy” since the late 1990s when I experimented with writing Chinese characters in calligraphic strokes inside of the piano. However, unable to find musicians who practice calligraphy, this fascination remained unexplored until this piece revived my interests. Having been trained to practice calligraphy as a child growing up in Japan, Takae knows calligraphy well, and is a much better calligrapher than myself! In the improvised cadenza on recording for New World Records, Takae uses the kanji character 翔 (“flight”) as the material, and evokes the vivid imagery of wings by sliding her palm on the strings. Other extended techniques invented for this piece includes plucking the strings and using a tuning key to bend the note after attack.